Investigating the role of circulating microRNAs in human immunodeficiency virus infection: friends or foes?

Priscila Garcia Hsieh, Laurita Cardoso Siqueira, Adriana Zilly, João Paulo Assolini, Aline Preve da Silva, Fernando Cezar-dos-Santos


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (Aids), still affects millions of people worldwide. Despite recent advances in the understanding of biological mechanisms of viral replication, there are relevant gaps in the understanding of the virus-host relationship. Unraveling these gaps may lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies and the establishment of new biomarkers useful for the diagnosis and prognosis of the infection and its comorbidities. Research has been carried out with a focus on decoding gene regulation and silencing processes. Among these, microRNAs (miRNAs) stand out, small non-coding sequences responsible for mediating several cellular processes. They are found primarily in the cytoplasm but may be exported and found circulating and measured in blood samples. These studies have shown the role of miRNAs as biomarkers in different diseases, particularly in viral infections. They are expressed in T cells, cells that play an essential role in orchestrating an efficient antiviral response, and are the target of HIV infection. Therefore, in this study we discuss the main biological characteristics of miRNAs and the potential use of these nucleic acids in their free, circulating form, as indicators of risk or protection against HIV infection.


MicroRNAs; HIV Biomarkers; Circulating miRNA.

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ISSN: 2357-9730



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